Saturday, April 01, 2006

hostettler: always against term limits

following up on my post from thursday: after spending some time plugging away on lexis-nexis, i believe i have verified that john hostettler was indeed always against federally-mandated term limits for congress. here he is explaining why this does not contradict his signing the contract with america.

Copyright 1995 Cable News Network, Inc.
All rights reserved

SHOW: Inside Politics 4:30 pm ET

March 28, 1995

Transcript # 798

TYPE: Show; News Item

SECTION: Election; News

LENGTH: 3007 words

HEADLINE: Term Limits Set to Fail in House Despite Public Support

GUESTS: LEXIS-NEXIS Related Topics Full Article Related Topics Overview

This document contains no targeted Topics.


Term limits supporters admit they don't have the votes for them in the House, and GOP leaders may delay in voting on them. The Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of state-imposed limits this year.


JEANNE MESERVE: Congressman Hostettler, you are a Republican. You signed the Contract With America. And yet you oppose all of the term limits proposals. Explain to me what appears to be a contradiction.

Rep. JOHN HOSTETTLER (R-IN): Well, as you know, the Contract With America allowed for a vote on all of these 10 items, not necessarily support of them, which was a concern of mine when the contract idea was first brought up. We would not stop a vote on any of these items.

JEANNE MESERVE: Do you oppose term limits? And tell me why.

Rep. JOHN HOSTETTLER: I oppose- I oppose the federal mandate of term limits on the states. I am totally in agreement with the fact that states may set their own term limits for their congressman and their senators, but I think the Constitution allows for a minimal set of qualifications for representatives and senators, and Washington, D.C., should stay out of it.

CLETA MITCHELL: Well, the only problem with that is that we have- I agree with that position, and I was co-counsel in the Supreme Court case that's now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court involving the Arkansas term limits law. But the problem that we're addressing and trying to address through the term limits amendment is that there are only- every state that has term limits passed them through the initiative process. Your home state of Indiana and Congressman Hilleary's home state of Tennessee neither have the initiative process. And plus, we don't know whether the Supreme Court is going to rule that the states have the authority to set those term limit laws. So the only way- if they rule against us, the only way to deal with this is to support something like Congressman Hilleary is proposing and 80 percent of the American people favor.


JEANNE MESERVE: I have heard some complaints that the Republican leadership has not been pushing hard enough for passage of term limits. Mr. Hostettler, I'd be interested in hearing from you what kind of pressure you've come under to switch your vote.

Rep. JOHN HOSTETTLER: Well, speaking about the difference between the various leaderships from the last session to this session is the fact that this leadership believes if a particular representative has an issue with term limits based on principle, such as constitutionality of the issue of the federal government telling the states who they cannot send to represent them, then there is not a great deal of pressure placed on me, for example, to change my vote. And this issue for me is an issue of principle. And I think the real problem is when we have a leadership, whether it be Democrat or Republican, that chooses to pressure an individual congressman or senator to go against their own principle and against the concerns they shared with their own constituents during the campaign and then switch their vote because if it's something as important as term limits constitutional amendment, what will be down the road?

JEANNE MESERVE: Congressman Hostettler, are you committing political suicide here?

Rep. JOHN HOSTETTLER: Well, the interesting thing is that I campaigned against term limits in a six-person Republican primary, and I campaigned against term limits against a 12-year incumbent, and here I am in Washington, D.C., representing the 8th District. So I don't think that this is a political suicide. I think the folks in the 8th District know that this is an issue of constitutional principle for me, and they will have me stand against my word.

his excuse is that the contract with america didn't require him to support term limits, only to "bring to the House Floor the following bills, each to be given full and open debate, each to be given a clear and fair vote"... this is technically accurate according to the actual wording of the contract, but it all sounds a bit weasely to me.

also note that while hotstettler is dead against term limits for congress or the president, he is in favor of term limits for the supreme court:

Copyright 2001 Bulletin Broadfaxing Network, Inc.
The Bulletin's Frontrunner

July 31, 2001


LENGTH: 146 words

HEADLINE: IN8: Despite Claims To The Contrary, Hostettler Didn't Back Term Limits.

Howey Political Report Daily Wire (7/30) reported, "While 8th CD Chairman Tony Long suggested in the HPR Daily Wire last week that U.S. Rep. John Hostettler might have come out for term limits when he first ran for Congress in 1994, the record suggests otherwise." In an Evansville Courier article "by Doug Sword published on March 30, 1995, it was reported, 'US Supreme Court justices are the ones whose terms Congress should consider limiting, Rep. John Hostettler said Wednesday as he voted against all four congressional term-limit proposals that came to the House floor. For the second time in his three months in the House, Hostettler went against his party, whose 'Contract With America' favors limiting House members to six two-year terms and senators to two six-year terms.' Hostettler was one of 39 out of 230 Republicans who voted against the legislation."

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